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Unleash the sleeping giant - Tourism


Well-known member
For a country that offers history, culture and cuisine, India’s share of global tourism is less than 1%

Tourism offers endless possibilities. It has the power to provide jobs to millions of people and boost the country’s economy

Recent figures published by the ministry of tourism, Government of India, tell a tale. About 10.04 million foreign tourists arrived in India in 2017, whereas the total number of foreign tourist arrivals world over was 1,323 million.

In other words, India’s share of global international tourism is less than one per cent. For a country so vast, diverse, and with so much to offer – from history to culture to cuisine – this is abysmally low.

It goes without saying that active measures to increase our share of the global tourism pie are urgently needed. A two-fold approach to this could be, first, increase global awareness about the richness of Indian heritage, with specific emphasis on different sites that would interest tourists with diverse interests; second, provide better accessibility – from easing of the visa process to better connectivity, amenities, and safety at various destinations.

Simultaneously, a planned strategy to harness the vast potential of domestic tourism would yield dividends disproportionately higher than the efforts required.

Rising income levels resulting in higher disposable incomes has led to an increase in domestic tourist traffic over the past decade. Interestingly, the total number of domestic tourist arrivals was pegged by the Ministry of Tourism at 1,652.49 million in 2017 – which is more than the total number of foreign tourist arrivals across the world. This means that our demographic advantage enables us to ensure huge tourist numbers, domestically itself.

But, there is also a catch, which lies in the skewed distribution of this tourist traffic. The bulk of this traffic – foreign and domestic – in India is limited to a few well-known destinations and sites.

As per reports, the average footfall of Taj Mahal is about 70,000 a day, and talk of conservation concerns cause this to be restricted to 40,000! Even at restricted numbers, it would result in approximately 1.5 crore visitors per year.
Compare this to another world heritage site, Hampi, which receives a paltry 5 lakh visitors per year. This skewed distribution results in excessive – often unmanageable — pressure on a few sites, while a vast majority of others go unexplored, their potential under-exploited.

This also results in an uneven distribution of tourism revenues. Admittedly, the examples cited are at extreme ends of the spectrum, yet they clearly illustrate the opportunity for exploiting the potential of lesser-known attractions for both domestic and international tourism.

The possibilities are endless. Tourism is a sleeping giant – a bottled genie that has the power to provide millions of jobs and boost our economy. All we need is a well thought-out, coordinated plan to unleash this genie.



Well-known member
People of Indian origin must become the ambassador, and encourage their friends to visit India.

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